3D Printed FootwearStartup and IncubatorsSustainability

Servati aims to solve for sustainability in footwear with 3D printing

By producing disassemblable and recyclable sneakers using only rubber and polyester - materials that can be reused to produce new accessories

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Servati, a start-up from Lecce, Italy, is producing disassemblable and recyclable sneakers using only rubber and polyester – materials that can be reused to produce new accessories. According to the founders, Matteo Di Paola and Marco Primiceri, “the fashion world needs to develop a new sensitivity towards environmental issues.”

The two young founders, one with a degree in economics, and the other with a degree in design and visual communication, developed their plan to combine a passion for fashion and a green inclination, during the lockdown.

The model is a circular economy model in which the shoes are sold to the customer who, at the end of their use, can return them for recycling – with the customer being given a coupon for the purchase of a new pair of shoes or another Servati item, while the components of the old pair of sneakers are disassembled and recycled for new productions.

The pair’s secret is a patent to protect a special interlocking between the sole and the upper that allows the shoe to hold together without the use of glues or irreversible seams. The product is therefore made up of only two elements corresponding to two materials – rubber and polyester, both fully recyclable. No glue, chemical solvents, or heat-activated adhesives are used. The soles are 3D printed with rubber, and the uppers are produced within the Casarano industrial district in partnership with other footwear companies. However, the search for suppliers is extending beyond the area.

Servati aims to solve for sustainability in footwear with 3D printing by producing disassemblable and recyclable sneakers.

“We have identified our style,” said the two founders. “We work with a pulsating and alive material that continuously shapes its form, without ever becoming waste. We propose stylistic features related to speed, movement, tense and sharp lines, and aerodynamic shapes.”

The startup is funded and managed by the Puglia region. Currently, three models have been designed. Soon, an offline launch is planned with events in the most significant Italian cities, and online through social media and the web, with the presentation of the models, which will be available to the public later in the year.

“To select the materials, we spent entire months researching: we wanted to be sure to create a product that is truly 100% recyclable,” said the two founders. “At the end of its use, this shoe can be disassembled and provide materials to produce other strong objects in the world of fashion and design; it is a project of total circularity. The upper can be decomposed with our method that we have patented. We have already made new shoes by recycling other end-of-life shoe samples, the first ones we made. It is the dream of a sneaker market that finally becomes truly circular and green. The materials of the shoes can thus become, in their second life, also bags, watch straps, and other accessories.”

Servati is accepting pre-orders from 11 March 2024, for the first 100 pairs of sneakers.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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